Eye shadow primer is one of those makeup products that you could do without, especially if you're on a budget. It also depends on the look you want to achieve.
I sometimes use recycled foundation (I say recycled because it's a tad bit too light for my face) as a base on my eyelids before applying shadow. Right now I am using (and love) Revitalistic by Vanessa Williams Re-Start Skin Serum, which I use on my entire face before makeup application.
However, if you want to use a vibrant eye shadow color and make it pop, especially if you have a darker skin tone and are using a powder shadow, you might need a primer or base.
Still on the fence? Check out these five reasons to use eye shadow primer.
Photo: Safia Fatimi/Taxi Japan (Getty)
A reader wrote in asking for help in finding the right shade of lipstick. It's a shame, she wrote. I cannot find the right shade of lipstick. I've been looking for two years. I know you're an authority on (red) lipstick, but I'm not into red, pink, wine, etc.
Huh? Not into red! (Just kidding).
Consider Your Natural Lip Color
The reader also stated that she doesn't want to have to go bare, but taking a look at your bare lips can at least help you find a good nude or neutral color. I remember reading that makeup artist Bobbi Brown suggests finding a shade that's close to your natural lip color and taking it up a notch or two (meaning darker or brighter).
You can find more tips in my article on finding the right lipstick for your skin tone.
Try Customizing Your Lip Shade
Before I started writing about beauty, I used to go into drug stores and buy lipsticks from Posner and other inexpensive brands, then turned master lipstick mixer, blending a few colors until I found something I liked.
One of my favorite colors is brick red, which I discovered when trying to tone down a bright red using a brown shade. That saved the brown shade, by the way, because I look hideous in brown lipstick!
If you think that collecting a bunch of lipsticks and then mixing and blending is just too much work, celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal has created a lip palette that you can use to customize your lipstick look. For more information, read my review of Mally's Pro-Tricks Lip Palette.
Photo: Mally Beauty
Need a treat, or rather treatment, for dry lips? Miracle Skin Transformer's Lip Rewind Advanced Peptide Lip Treatment SPF 20 is a tinted, peptide-infused treatment that protects lips from daily damage and moisture loss. Lip Rewind is available in Berry, Coral, Pink, Love and Translucent shades for sheer, subtle color.
For more information, read my review of Lip Rewind Advanced Peptide Lip Treatment SPF 20.
MST will donate $5 of each sale of the Love Lip Rewind shade to Children's Action Network (CAN) a non profit organization founded by Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg and Henry Winkler to raise awareness of children's issues, specifically finding families for foster children in the United States.
Customers can also receive 30% off their entire purchase at MiracleSkinTransformer.com until Mother's Day (May 12). Enter I Love Mom at checkout.
Lip Rewind in Love/Photo: Miracle Skin Transformer
I came across Bath & Body Works' Forever Red Fine Fragrance Mist, which I actually intended to write about for a Valentine's Day roundup (it came in a bit too late).
Forever Red has a sweet fruity/floral fragrance with top notes of pomegranate, French peach and apple; mid notes of red peony, night marigold and red osmanthus; and dry notes of vanilla rum, marshmallow and oak wood.
If you like the scent, BBW has a Buy 3 Get 2 Free sale for its Signature Collection Body Care products (which include the Forever Red items).
BBW customers had been asking for a travel size bottle of the 8 fl oz Fragrance Mist ($22). The 3 fl oz bottle, which is available for a limited time, is $14.50. If you want it for air travel, though, the bottle design, big bow included, will actually take up too much space in your quart-sized Ziploc bag. You'd be better off with the Eau de Parfum Rollerball ($12.50). For more info and gift ideas, visit BathAndBodyWorks.com.
Photo: Bath & Body Works
More Scents to Consider
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While attending Organic Spa Magazine's recent Organic Beauty & Lifestyle media event, I picked up a sample of the Shankara Oil Collection, which has eight mini bottles of Ayurvedic herbal and base oils, that are based on Ayurvedic types (doshas - mind-body and skin types): vata (dry skin), pitta (normal, combination and sensitive) and kapha (oily).
According to the company, everything may be categorized according to its proportion of the doshas, including mind-body and skin type.
The Shankara Oil Collection includes Relaxing Body Oil, Reviving Body Oil, De-Stressing Body Oil, Harmonizing Oil, Muscle Release Oil, Nourishing Foot Oil, Hair & Scalp Oil and Cellulite Treatment Oil.
You should be able to find whichever oil meets your individual needs and it's also a good way to sample all of the Shankara body oils to discover which formulations you like. For example, Reviving Body Oil is for tired, congested skin characteristics of the kapha dosha type, Harmonizing Oil is a calming, hormone-balancing oil, that balances moods and is good for menstrual cramp relief, and De-Stressing Body Oil is for normal, sensitive and combination skin/pitta types and is also uplifting, so if you need to get out of the doldrums, this oil might be for you.
The Shankara Oil Collection is $28 at Shankara.com.
During the next two weeks, I'll be making some suggestions for Mother's Day gifts. Mother's Day is May 12. First up is NEST Fragrances Body Wash and Body Cream.
I remember attending a presentation for the body care collection from NEST Fragrances at the home of Laura Slatkin. Laura's husband, Harry Slatkin was called the "king of home fragrance" by the New York Times due to the luxury home fragrance company, Slatkin & Co, which included scented candles, home fragrance and other products. After the Slatkins sold the business, Laura founded NEST Fragrances, a specialized home fragrance manufacturing company. Then in 2008 she launched the NEST Fragrance Collection, a collection of scented candles that evolved into a luxury lifestyle brand. The cocktail party was to introduce the new Body Wash and Body Cream collection, available in six fragrances. I had Moss & Mint Body Wash and Body Cream in my gift bag.
The NEST Fragrance Moss & Mint Body Wash fills the bathroom with a refreshing and soothing scent that contains garden mint, apple blossom, muguet, oakmoss and vetiver. Other skin nourishing and conditioning ingredients include aloe vera, panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), silk protein, rice bran oil, olive oil-derived humectants, glycerin, plus coconut, corn and oat-derived cleansers to gently cleanse the skin.
The accompanying Body Cream also contains aloe vera and panthenol, plus shea butter, French plum, grape seed, jojoba and sweet almond oils, and amber extract for skin conditioning. Both have a unique scent that reminds me of a spring meadow or a fresh country field. The NEST Fragrances Moss & Mint Body Wash is $28 (6.7 fl oz) and the Body Cream is $32 (6.7 fl oz).
The Body Wash and Body Cream, along with the candles, bar soap and reed diffusers in the Mint & Moss collection would make a nice Mother's Day gift (think about the calming, chill-out factor). For more information, visit NestFragrances.com.
Photo: NEST Fragrances
The east coast has been experiencing the strangest spring weather. One day it feels like spring and then the next day it's back down to near-winter temps. So, now that the gloves are stored away, my hands, nails and cuticles have been extremely dry.
One of the few things I actually like about winter is that it's when I bring out the body butters--gloriously rich creams that usually have a heavenly scent and bring on the heavy-duty moisture.
My poor hands have been looking like cracked desert earth lately--and mere lotion hasn't been much help. So in addition to trying to drink more water and eat a little better, I have been massaging my hands with body butter at night and covering them in white gloves. (That's an old beauty tip from eons ago.)
The other night the body butter of choice was Scent Bar Shea-Intense Cabana Body Butter (which has instructions to massage it "over dry spots or wherever skin craves extra moisture.") The Cabana scent is supposed to be a reminiscent of a private beach complete with tropical cocktails and ocean breezes, with ingredients that include, along with shea butter, coconut, Tahitian vanilla and papaya.
LA's Scent Bar teamed with Target to create the Scent Bar body and bath collection, and Cabana is just one of four available scents to choose from.
In addition to the Body Butter ($9.99, 6.5 oz) the Cabana scent is available in a Body Lotion ($8.99, 10 fl oz), Body Wash ($8.99, 12 fl oz) and Body Mist ($8.99, 8 fl oz), exclusively at Target and Target.com.
If you do a lot of Internet shopping for your beauty and skin care products, you've probably gotten your fair share of packing materials as well.
I'd collect a large amount of bubble wrap and those annoying peanuts--the stupid Styrofoam packing material shaped like peanuts that would spill onto the floor and through static would stick to everything--clothing, fingers, the cat's tail. Then at strategic times (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.) I'd put them in a bag and place them outside with a big note: Please Take: Makes Excellent Packing Material for Mailing Gifts, hoping that neighbors or passersby would take them. I like to think that I was doing my part to keep them in circulation and out of the landfills.
Fortunately, eco-friendly companies like Christopher Drummond Beauty use natural 100% biodegradable peanuts made of FDA approved, organic cornstarch. Those packing peanuts are recyclable and reusable and can be dissolved with water.
Last year as we approached Earth Day, I gathered all of my nail strengtheners that were formulated with the toxic trio (read What's In Your Nail Polish for more about this) for safe disposal by the NYC Sanitation Department at one of their NYC SAFE Disposal Events.
I still feel a little guilty about throwing out product (especially if it's not even half empty). NYC SAFE suggests using non-toxic products whenever possible and when purchasing harmful household products, buy just the amount that you need so you don't have excess materials to discard. It's a bit scary that nail polish and nail polish removers are listed (under personal care products) along with such items as medications, mercury thermometers and syringes.
Those nail products didn't even work and the smell was enough to knock me out. But I feel a little like Kermit the Frog. It's not easy being green. I'm still working on it!
For more tips, check out the Go Green Beauty Tips.
Piggy Paint Nail Polishes for little girls are water-based, non-toxic, odorless and hypo-allergenic. These polishes arrived surrounded and protected by biodegradable packing peanuts.
Photo: © Gerrie Summers
In the US, the wearing of bindis by non-South Asians is deemed perfectly acceptable, and is now just a style statement. If you want to wear a bindi but aren't South-Asian, go ahead, no one will be offended. If anything, it will make you more approachable, and send a clear signal that you want to be included in the culture.
That is a statement I found on SariCloset.com, a sari rental service. Maybe singer/actress Selena Gomez wishes that were true. Gomez's performance at the MTV Movie Awards, for which she wore an East Indian-influenced costume and bindi, offended the Universal Society of Hinduism and sparked enraged comments on various social media sites. Nevertheless the singer also wore a bindi for her performances on the Ellen Degeneres Show and more recently on Dancing with the Stars.
It's obvious that for creative purposes Selena (or whomever was responsible for the choreography and costuming) wanted to impart a Bollywood-inspired flavor to the performance, but clearly the background dancers sporting traditional bindis was a bad idea and insensitive. And though the dancers seemed to be a multicultural bunch, perhaps it would have been less jolting if she had hired actual Indian dancers. Read more about the controversy, plus see more celebrities in bindis.
Photo: Kevork Dejansezian (Getty Images)
Like other citrus fruits, orange has astringent and toning qualities plus vitamin C to brighten and improve skin texture and help prevent early signs of skin aging. A blood orange that is native to Italy has more vitamin C than any other orange in the world.
Tarocco is the Italian name for this red or blood orange, a sweet, seedless citrus fruit with flesh that is a deep red to maroon color. Tarocco means "beautiful" and as one story goes, this is what a farmer exclaimed when he first saw the fruit, hence the name.
Crabtree & Evelyn has a new bath and body collection that contains Tarocco Sicilian blood orange. You can read more about it in my new review:
Photo: Barry Wong/Photodisc